The study of the immune system in organisms, primarily responsible for fighting infection.

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Question about the expression of MHC

Is it possible to express both the MHC class-1 and MHC class-2 both in one cell?
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Who would win in a fight: an amoeba or a leukocyte?

(sorry, I couldn't resist the rhyming, silly title) I find it facinating that humans can suffer from an amoeba infestation. Amoeba must reproduce far more slowly than bacteria. In size, they seem to ...
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How do the variable portions of antibody genes look in cells which don't produce antibodies?

There are several families of antibodies found in mammals. They may have two or more antibody domains which contain heavy and light chains. The variable regions of the light and heavy chains genes ...
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Can the immune system stop plasmodium from being active?

Suppose a female Anopheles infected with Plasmodium bites someone and transmits Plasmodium to their body. Can that person's immune system be strong enough that it can kill the Plasmodium before it ...
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During human ageing, which immune cell sub-types are most affected?

It is now well established that human ageing is accompanied by an increase in systemic, low-grade (chronic) inflammation, sometimes termed inflammaging (Franceschi, 2007). This is in part due to more ...
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From inflammation to sickness and depression: when the immune system subjugates the brain

Recently, some research, for example this article has proposed that inflammation can cause innate immune cells to produce pro-inflammatory cytokines that act on the brain to cause sickness behaviour. ...
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How does paracetamol interfere with immune system?

Paracetamol is used to reduce body temperature when it is to high. The high body temperature (fever) is known to be an indication that immune system fights against an infection. In this context I ...
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Is it possible to purify antigens from a vaccine and to separate them from the adjuvant?

I need to separate the antigens from several vaccines in order to use them for coating microplates to run an indirect ELISA. I at least need to remove the adjuvant from the vaccines. Is this possible ...
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Do you know of any disease where HLA / MHC association discovery has led to better treatment or management?

If we discover an association between a disease and a particular HLA type (MHC class I or class II molecule) then it may provide us with some insight into the disease in a very basic way. However, ...
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Immune reaction to “new” protein

I read in Bruce Alberts Molecular Biology of the cell : Normal mice,for example, cannot make an immune response against one of their own protein components of the complement system called C5. ...
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Why don't we form immunity to some infections?

I read another question, and its answers, about how vaccines work, but I don't see there, and and don't understand, why some infections can, seemingly, not be immunized against at all. For example, ...
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What is the beneficial function of IgE antibody?

Dont tell me the "function" of IgE is to cause allergy ! In whatever texts I have seen it is written that IgE is important to cause allergies but what is the beneficial function of IgE ? Why was it ...
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How is antibody production stopped?

Once clonal selection is done, B cells would start dividing and producing antibodies. So, after an antigen is eliminated, what stops the division of B cells and antibody production?
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How do B memory cells provide immunological memory? Do they differentiate into plasma cells?

My text book doesn't say anything about how B memory cells actually ensure a faster response the second time the antigen is encountered. My guess is that they differentiate into plasma cells which ...
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Is the complement system a part of innate or adaptive immunity

I've been reading about the complement system, as part of the human immune system. The complement system is introduced as part of the article on innate immunity on Wikipedia. This classification makes ...
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Modern immunology textbooks

I am looking for recommendations to good textbooks introducing modern immunology. Review articles, preferably modern (post 2000) would also be useful. Please, include a brief comment with each book ...
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variation in antigen binding site of antibodies

Antibodies or immunoglobulins are proteins made ​​by the immune system in response to alien(!) molecules. Each antibody binds to its specific antigen. This great diversity and specificity is cause of ...
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What is a protective epitope?

What is a protective epitope? An epitope is basically a part of antigen. So does it mean that when the epitope combines with an antibody, it helps in the functioning of the antibody instead of going ...
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Manufacturing toxoids

Toxoids produced by tetanus and diphtheria bacteria are detoxified with formaldehyde, yet their antigen properties remain. Source : Biological Science by Taylor What does formaldehyde do ?
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What is the genetic basis of blood type (ABO) system?

What is the genetic basis of the A/B/B+/O/etc. blood type system? Are there definitive loci that correspond to each or can multiple different genotypes produce the same antigen profile? Also, is the ...
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How does the immune system distinguish own and foreign antibodies?

Therapeutic antibodies, for example Rituximab which recognises CD20 on B lymphoma cells, can cause adverse effects (e.g. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19399690) One reason behind these adverse ...
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How to evaluate the efficacy of an antibody for fluorescence microscopy?

I'm trying to evaluate data taken from fluorescence microscopy with antibody staining, and am wondering whether there is any standard way to evaluate the specificity of the antibody for such ...
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Functioning of BCG vaccine

I read (from Nature Volume507, S4–S7 (06 March 2014) : For reasons that are poorly understood, BCG protects only infants; it is ineffective in older children and adults. Its efficacy also ...
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Number of MHCs in neurons

I have read that neurons have proportionately less MHC molecules than other cells of the body. What is the advantage of this?
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Can you cure allergies?

A common solution is allergy shots, which helps you adapt to the allergy. But are there ways to tell the body that this allergy is safe and there is no need to amount a response to it? So that there ...
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SEREX serological analysis of cDNA expression library

What is Serological Analysis of cDNA expression library? I went through this article:http://cancerimmunity.org/serex/introduction/ but could not really make out. Can someone please explain this to me ...
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Dimerization of Immunoglobulin G

I would like to know the specific determinants for formation of IgG dimers. My understanding is the stem of the antibody is a homodimer of two heavy chains, covalently bonded through two disulfide ...
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How does your body ultimately recover from a cold?

Is it the eradication of the virus (assuming rhinovirus) by white blood cells? Or does your body somehow adapt to presence of the virus?
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Thymus and maternal microchimerism

I read in Bruce Alberts Molecular Biology of The Cell : ....If,however,cells from one strain of mouse are introduced into a neonatal mouse of another strain , some of these cells survive for most ...
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Immunity during pregnancy

I have learnt that our immune system distinguishes self from non-self by using MHC. So a mother during pregnancy should also develop antibodies against the fetus as it is also a genetically different ...
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Antibody-antigen database

Is there a database where I can find an affinity estimate if I provide a given antibody and a given antigen sequence ? Input : antibody + antigen sequence Output : quantitative binding/affinity ...
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Adenosine metabolism

Are adenosine or its catabolites increased in inflamed airways? How can I assess this? I am trying to use inhibitors for adenosine deaminase, xanthine oxidase, and purine nucleoside phosphorylase, but ...
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Anti-antibodies for preventing transplant rejection

Transplanted organs from the donor are attacked by antibodies from the recepient. So can't we construct anti-antibodies and destroy specifically those antibodies which are causing the rejections ? ...
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Can antibodies be formed against white blood cells after blood transfusion?

If antibodies are produced against other blood groups' red blood cells, why can't antibodies form against white blood cells, of any blood group? (even the same one, as MHC will be different in almost ...
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Why Rh conflict happen but no ABO conflicts?

I wonder why Rhesus conflict can happen during pregnancy and mother can make antibodies against Rh protein (I think the correct name is D protein), but it doesn't happen if mother has different ABO ...
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Transfer of antibodies in breast milk of humans

Why isn't the IgA secreted in breast milk digested due to proteases of the digestive system in the baby? Wikipedia says: The secretory component of sIgA protects the immunoglobulin from being ...
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Up to date B cell review

Where would I find an up to date (last 6-7 years max) review on B cells? I've tried searching through pubmed with filters, cochrane library, medline and various other resources including searching old ...
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Immunodominant Peptide

Can someone please explain me the concept of Immunodominant peptide in simple language?? I did read the wiki article but did not understand it clearly. Please help! (I have not studied biology since ...
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Calibration curve for single radial immunodiffusion

When we draw a calibration curve for single radial immunodiffusion, the curve does not pass through origin. Instead, there is a y intercept. Why does that happen ? Shouldn't zero antigen give zero ...
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Is a naive immune system equally able to handle new antigens as an educated one?

This is a variation of the "does the immune system run out of memory" question. Here's a (possibly imperfect) thought experiment: You take two twins. One of them lives in a bubble from birth. One of ...
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Allergic rhinitis vaccine

Note : Any answer to this question will not be (and should not be) taken as medical advice. One of my friends has allergic rhinitis and has been prescribed an oral vaccine. He is allergic to 3 ...
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Can more than one antibody bind the same antigen

I'd like to clear something up about antibodies that I'm not sure I've understood in the articles I've read. Looking at concepts such as "affinity maturation", "monovalent antigens" and "polyvalent ...
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Presence of MHC on red blood cells

Do red blood cells have no MHC? (I have often heard that they do not.) If so why are they not destroyed by immune cells?
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Difference between viral and human genetic material

I have heard that there is a difference between viral and human genetic material. What is that difference? If I take my cells and take DNA out of them and insert only a small part of it having a ...
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Do T-cells express MHC molecules?

T-cells recognize the MHC molecules and body's own peptides. When it doesn't, it alarms the immune system. But do T-cells express MHC molecules ? If so, how are they using it? If not, what happens ...
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Insulin and monoclonal antibody production

When producing insulin, the gene for its production is inserted into the plasmid of a bacterium that is allowed to replicate freely. Why can't the same thing be done with antibodies (as I understand ...
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Is it more likely to develop a throat-ache at night?

I have noticed that I rarely develop phlemmy throat-aches in the daytime, but often notice them after I have been sleeping. Is this a recognised phenomenon? Could it be because viruses or bacteria ...
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Why glycoproteins are better than non-glycoproteins in fulfilling biological tasks?

I have just an intuition that the carbohydrate part of glycoproteins help them to fulfil those tasks like in plasma membranes. You can also get many more receptors if you can use carbohydrates too. ...
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multiple HIV infection in same T cell

I was wondering can multiple HIV virus infecting same T cell ? Coz in flu virus they have SA to cleave of those sialic acid residue preventing re-infection of the same cell by other viruses to ...
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How specific is the adaptive immune response?

When you read about the adaptive immune response, you are often told that the response is specific to each pathogen - that the response is tailored. My question is - to what extent is this really ...